Unemployment Insurance Program

UI benefits should be based on the most recent wages

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All states should consider laid-off workers' most recent wages when they determine whether workers have earned enough wages to qualify for UI benefits. Currently a few states refuse to consider workers' most recent 3-6 months of earnings. This might have made sense years ago, when workers' earnings were reported by employers on paper at the end of each quarter, but in the age of instant digital reporting there's no good reason to not to consider recent wages. Failing to consider recent wages hurts workers with under-paid, part-time, seasonal, intermittent, or newer work histories, disproportionately excluding workers of color from being able to access UI benefits. States that refuse to consider the most recent wages tend to disqualify more laid-off workers from being able to access unemployment benefits.

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Idea No. 204